A tribute night was held by England’s Football Writers’ Association at London’s Savoy Hotel for Wayne Rooney. He finishes the weekend smiling as coach Jose Mourinho gives him an off for Monday training.
Rooney was the Guest of Honour and he is also making headlines due to his record breaking 250th goal for Manchester United. His friends and colleagues were also present there to praise him and be a part of his success. Ed Woodward, the executive vice-chairman of the club was also present who contributed in making Rooney the highest earner at United after he negotiated the contract in 2013.
A video collage consisting of some of the exceptional goals by Rooney was played. The former England manager Roy Hodgson made speeches. Fletcher talked about the Friendship with Rooney and also said he is a team player and a popular captain.
Rooney has emerged as a more mature player since his first interview when he was a teenager. He is now aware about his responsibilities being associated with United and as the England captain. He must continue to progress if he wants to be a successful media analyst like his former teammate Gary Neville or fellow Liverpudlian Jamie Carragher.
320 goals in 741 professional games for Everton, Manchester United and England leave no doubt in Rooney’s achievement as a player. According to Hodgson, Rooney was ultra-professional and he never missed a training session. He can create more headlines with time as he is still 31 only.
Rooney is going to be remembered as one of the greatest players of United in the history. Even though he said that he is not going to play for any other premier league team, but it is unsure that how long he will be playing for Old Trafford when he has more league games on the bench than the pitch.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic is still producing top class performances at the age of 35 and Rooney might emulate him or take the example of Ryan Giggs who played for Man United at 40.
He doesn’t have the swiftness of his youth but he is capable of some spectacular performances. He proved that with a fine goal in United’s last defeat which was 17 games ago at Fenerbahce. Saturday’s record breaking goal at Stoke was his second league goal of this season. He showed that he can still be the best player of his side even though he stumbles against the big teams at times.
United were heading for a defeat on Saturday after Juan Mata’s own goal on the 19th minute. Mata missed the chance to equalise but Antonio Valencia was strong and Henrikh Mkhitaryan glided forward with balletic poise. Rooney was brought on when no breakthrough came and Mourinho even switched to a 4-4-2 formation but none of it worked for them.
Rooney took over the free kick won by United at the 94th minute and the ball flew in keeping the unbeaten run intact. He provided a high point to a day that was about to become bleak for them but it has become United’s Achilles heel.